BBC: 12 November 2021

Americans' cost of living is rising faster than it has for three decades, with food and fuel driving the increases.

The consumer prices index for October showed prices rose 6.2% over the last twelve months.

It marks a sharp jump from September when prices were already rising at 5.4%.

Inflation has been a growing concern for shoppers and policymakers this year as the impact of the pandemic persists.

Rising prices for food, shelter, used cars and trucks and new vehicles were among the larger contributors, the Bureau for Labour Statistics said.

Meat, fish and eggs rose more than other foodstuffs, while petrol, or gasoline, prices are at seven-year highs.

Almost every sector saw some price inflation, except for airfares and alcoholic beverages.

Bottlenecks in the supply of some goods, combined with increasing demand from customers as the vaccine programme allowed the economy to reopen, are partly to blame for the rises.

A shortage of staff has prompted employers to raise wages in some sectors, too, which in turn can feed into higher prices.

Even excluding the cost of food and fuel, which tend to be more volatile, prices were rising strongly at 4.6%.


Bessy Clarke says she has mostly noticed the price of petrol going up.

"Steadily every week, it gets higher and higher," she says. "I'm actively thinking about how I need to limit my gas trips."

"It takes over 30 bucks (£22) to fill my tank right now and it used to take about 23."

The 29-year-old waitress from New Orleans, Louisiana says her food bills are also rising.

"We go to our local grocery store, and things that were 40 to 50 bucks a couple months ago are now creeping over 60.

"Even in the restaurant I work at, meat prices have gone up and now we're having to pass that price on to consumers."

She's finding it impossible to save money, so is looking for a better paid job.

"I just hope that it eventually stabilises," she says.

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